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Can job boards be eliminated?

June 6, 2014

zappos insider imageImage credit – www.sfgate.com

When I first heard about Zappos stand to eliminate job boards and rather hire via social media based online talent communities, I was as glad as everyone. No doubt that the present day recruitment system involves a lot of work (actually hard-work) from the recruiters and the applicants, in turn generating little results. Job posting, resume collection, ATS, screening, a few selections… at last, many rejections and disappointments.

Zappos’ decision to first get involved with the prospective employees and then hiring based on relevant skills and job opening,  looks an appropriate way to handle the situation. If others follow the lead, a few sluggish hiring practices will soon fade away.

Relying heavily on job descriptions

With the new process in place, we will be able to move beyond one of the biggest flaw of hiring process that JEFF HADEN pointed out in one of his article at Inc.com – the job description approach to hiring. Most of the job description is nothing more than an exhaustive list of “The Bests” in terms of qualification, experience, personal attributes, and accomplishments. It often makes most applicants appear falling short one way or the other in comparison to the listed job demands.

Customized resumes

Customizing resume as per the job requirements has for long been an acceptable job search trend. Though there is no harm with it (if used appropriately)  but at times it leads to two or more resumes under same name crowding the job boards, sometimes under-stating or over-stating the same skill set. So when applicants are picked up based on capabilities and skills identified by the new hiring system, it might put an end to the practice of “resume customization”.

What can be the challenges involved?

Ever since the beginning, we are accustomed to a job search method which starts with looking on job boards for a relevant opening and applying for the same. The process is straight and quick. Put the keywords, scroll through the list and apply to suitable openings. The new process will require more attention and time. Though it’s a social media approach but it is more than relationship building and personal branding. Engaging with all preferred employers and waiting to be chosen for a role means keeping patience and giving time. Already struggling with the demands to live social round-the-clock, staying involved with all preferred employers might be challenging.

Also, for new start-ups and growing companies, job boards will remain the most reliable medium.  Not many applicants prefer to engage and involve with new players.

I have experienced being on both sides of the game. As a recruiter, looking for right candidate and as job applicant, looking for right opportunity.  The initiative by Zappos is a step towards improvement. Sooner or later, it might set a new direction in the hiring process.

What are your views on the case? I will wait to hear.

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From → Brainstorming

2 Comments
  1. Job postings are not equal to job portals. Job postings can be done beyond job portals and job portals provides more services like database search than job postings. So, the question is can we do away without job postings?

    Answer is – not always. Zapoos’s hiring model can not be replicated across the industry. It depends on quality, quantity, geography and most importantly kind of organization / talent brand you are. Also, talent community building and engagement is a long term strategy and needs lot of focused efforts.

    However, I can definitely say that Job postings are not always the best method to attract the target talent and recruiting organizations needs to build broader strategy beyond “post and pray”.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sarang! Oh yes of-course, job postings is more relevant term than job portals in this context. Glad you shared your views here.

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